McCann Melbourne rail safety effort wins Grand Prix

CANNES, FRANCE: Advertising agency McCann Melbourne won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes PR Lions on Monday for its campaign for Australian rail service Metro Trains Melbourne.

CANNES, FRANCE: Advertising agency McCann Melbourne won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes PR Lions on Monday for its campaign for Australian rail service Metro Trains Melbourne.  

The Dumb Ways to Die initiative, which launched in November, promotes rail safety by showcasing cartoon characters dying in humorous and preventable train accidents.

“We fell in love with [Dumb Ways to Die] early in the process,” said David Gallagher, senior partner and CEO of Ketchum EMEA, who is also chair of the PR awards jury. “The content was based on real human insight – it was fun, engaging, and immensely shareable. And it led to a 21% reduction in serious train injuries, so it was very effective.”

He added that the campaign was a “clear winner and it won on the first ballot” and noted that the effort was “a truly global viral campaign” with great results and sharability.

“It is an iconic and clever piece of work – people will talk about it,” he added.

The campaign also won the Grand Prix in the Direct Lions competition. 

During the judging process, the jury “intentionally” does not look at the sources of the work while making their decisions, explained Gallagher.

Since November, the campaign has garnered more than 50 million views on YouTube, and the initiative has expanded to include a presence on Tumblr, iPhone and iPad apps, and its own website at DumbWaysToDie.com.

McCann beat out the Real Beauty Sketches campaign by Unilever brand Dove for the Grand Prix. The campaign was created by Ogilvy Brazil Sao Paolo. 

Last year, JWT won the Grand Prix for its The Most Popular Song campaign for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, which focused on improving the bank's image by putting the country's economic situation in a more positive light. 

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